Covid: Labour calls for Plan B measures in England – BBC News


Labour is looking on the federal government to herald its Plan B measures to deal with Covid in England, together with recommendation to work at home and obligatory masks.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves additionally advised the BBC the vaccine programme was “stalling” and wanted to work higher.

However Chancellor Rishi Sunak mentioned the info didn’t at the moment counsel “instantly transferring to Plan B”.

The measures, which purpose to guard the NHS from “unsustainable stress”, additionally contains obligatory Covid passports.

Plan A, which is at the moment in place, entails providing booster jabs to probably the most susceptible, a single dose to wholesome 12 to 15-year-olds and inspiring unvaccinated individuals to get jabbed.

The NHS Confederation and the British Medical Affiliation are among the many teams who’ve known as for some restrictions to be reintroduced in England, amid rising instances.

  • What’s Plan B for Covid this winter?
  • When can I get my Covid booster jab?
  • Why are UK Covid instances so excessive?

Ms Reeves advised BBC One’s Andrew Marr Present: “I believe the very first thing is the federal government have gotten to do extra to make Plan A piece.

“If the scientists are saying work at home and masks, we must always try this. So get A working higher as a result of the vaccination programme has been stalling, and introduce these elements of Plan B.

“However there are additionally issues not in A or B that must be accomplished, like paying statutory sick pay from day one and in addition higher air flow in public areas.”

Requested whether or not Plan B ought to be launched now, she mentioned: “Sure, however let’s not let the federal government off the hook with Plan A both.”




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Showing on the identical programme, Mr Sunak was additionally requested whether or not it was time to herald the federal government’s back-up plan.

“We’re monitoring every little thing, however for the time being the info doesn’t counsel that we ought to be instantly transferring to Plan B, however in fact we are going to regulate that and the plans are prepared,” he mentioned.

The chancellor additionally mentioned reintroducing the furlough scheme was “not on the playing cards as a result of we do not envisage having to impose important financial restrictions in the way in which that we needed to over the past yr”.

He added that the vaccine rollout was the “first line of defence” and the booster marketing campaign was the easiest way to guard individuals by the winter.

Greater than 325,000 booster jabs got in England on Saturday – the largest every day determine for boosters but, Well being Secretary Sajid Javid mentioned.

Prof Adam Finn, a member of the federal government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), mentioned the vaccination programme by itself was not sufficient “to carry issues beneath management”.

“We do have to have individuals utilizing lateral stream assessments, avoiding contact with giant numbers of individuals in enclosed areas, utilizing masks, all of these issues now have to occur if we will cease this rise and get issues beneath management quickly sufficient to cease an actual meltdown in the course of the winter,” he advised Sky Information’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday.

Requested if the federal government ought to transfer to Plan B now, he mentioned: “Properly, some sort of Plan B.”

Dr Katherine Henderson, president of the Royal School of Emergency Medication, advised the programme emergency departments have been “already struggling to manage”, with giant queues of ambulances ready outdoors hospitals.





by Jim Reed, BBC well being reporter

One in 55 individuals in England had Covid final week, in accordance with the most recent ONS figures, the very best charge for the reason that finish of January.

Calls for for obligatory masks carrying, vaccine passports and extra working from dwelling have been rising – backed by many medical doctors and folks representing NHS trusts.

Labour’s place has not been altogether clear on this.

When requested by Andrew Marr whether or not Plan B ought to be launched “now”, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves agreed. However she additionally steered the precedence ought to be accelerating the rollout of booster vaccines to the over-50s and first jabs to youngsters.

On the identical programme, Chancellor Rishi Sunak repeatedly dominated out reimposing stricter measures “instantly” – maybe suggesting a slight change of tone from senior ministers.

The important thing measure to observe for is stress on hospitals.

As issues stand, there are at the moment 6,405 individuals being handled for Covid on wards in England. The quantity has been rising however continues to be no larger than it was in mid-September – and properly beneath the 34,000 seen in January.




In minutes of a gathering of the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) on 14 October, which have been printed on Friday, the scientists mentioned restrictions ought to be ready for “speedy deployment” and that appearing earlier may scale back the necessity for stricter measures over an extended time interval.

They mentioned that out of the federal government’s back-up measures, advising individuals to work at home was more likely to have probably the most impression on the unfold of Covid.

Stricter guidelines are already in place in different elements of the UK, with masks obligatory in some settings in Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire.


Chart showing that the number of daily cases are rising. Updated 23 October


UK instances have been above 40,000 for 11 days in a row, with 44,985 new instances recorded on Saturday and the quantity reported previously seven days up 15% on the earlier week.

The variety of Covid sufferers in hospital and deaths inside 28 days of a optimistic check are additionally rising, with 135 deaths recorded on Saturday.

In different developments:

  • Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton advised the BBC it was “crucial” Boris Johnson did what he may to cease rising Covid instances within the UK, as she known as on the prime minister to introduce obligatory vaccines for locations reminiscent of eating places and workplaces
  • Dad and mom are being urged to get their kids vaccinated over the half-term break, with households now in a position to guide appointments for 12 to 15-year-olds on-line at regular vaccination centres
  • New guidelines permitting absolutely vaccinated travellers returning to England to take lateral stream assessments as an alternative of dearer PCR assessments have come into drive

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